By Roy Mabasa
Colombia is keen on sharing with the Philippines its expertise in fighting illegal drugs through the possible signing of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
This surfaced following the recent visit of Non-Resident Philippine Ambassador Marichu Mauro to Bogota prior to her presentation of credentials to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
During her visit, Mauro sat down with Alfredo Ramos, Director-General of Colombia’s Ministry of External Relations for Asia, Oceania and Africa and discussed opportunities for bilateral cooperation in areas such as defense, the peace process, trade and investment, education, culture, sports, climate change, and cooperation in combating illegal drugs.
“In particular, both Ambassador Mauro and Director-General Ramos discussed at length potential cooperation in combating illegal drugs. Director-General Ramos has outlined areas where Colombia can offer expertise to the Philippine government in its illegal drug campaign,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement on Thursday.
The Philippine envoy also talked about the upcoming Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) and Political Consultations between the Philippines and Colombia next year and its corresponding active implementation.
Mauro informed the Colombian diplomat about the Philippines’ intention to open its embassy in Bogota very soon to further strengthen the two nations’ bilateral ties.
Colombia has opened its own embassy in Manila last year.
In September 2016, barely three months of the Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs campaign, then chief of the Philippine National Police Ronald Dela Rosa flew to Colombia to exchange notes on the two countries’ efforts to fight the drug menace.